[translation] Hongo Kanata in Junon 2008.09
Posted 9/20/08 , edited 9/20/08
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After one year, a drama appearance in "Seigi no Mikata" (Ally of Justice). He plays the role of Okamoto Riku, the prince the heroin longs for.
Don't you think his transparent appearance, just as it is, makes him somehow adult-like and sensual? Hongo Kanata is rapidly changing. What's been going on with him?
Tell us what's inside your heart!

-, "This might be my first normal role!"
-, "At times, people call me 'Prince' as if it were a normal thing..."
-, "Who's an Ally of Justice?"
-, "I hate hospitals, so I didn't go.. for 3 weeks."
-, ".. that sort of dish can't be appreciated completely unless you're an adult, in my opinion."
-, "I don't eat them, but I'd like to go pick them!"

This might be my first normal role (laugh)
It's been a while since I last appeared in a drama, but I'm having fun doing it. Things proceed smoothly on-set, it feels good. It's a schedule that follows decided shooting times rigorously.
Just that, it's a little tough in the morning. It takes about one hour from home to get to the set. Not that it's excessively far away, but I have to do a lot of transportation changes. Moreover, on the way, changing trains after getting off at a station, I've had moments I felt something would go wrong. By train it would end up taking about 30 minutes of detour. Therefore, while I'm sleepy, I walk up a difficult road for about 7 minutes. That's quite intense.

This time I'm playing Okamoto Riku. He's the prince the protagonist Yoko, played by Shida Mirai-san, longs for. When I heard it was this sort of role, my reaction was, "Eh? Is that so?" The roles I've received till now were more like, "Seems to be a prince, but in reality..!" I've had to play that sort of double-faced part often, I thought it might be the same this time, too. But it wasn't like that, so it was an unexpected feeling. Those roles were that many it became a habit (laugh). It might be my first normal role.

In preparation for the part, I read the original work, talked about several things with the director, and did a lot of probing. A normal role is actually hard to act. First off, you must appear cool, so you need to pay attention to many things. If I lose focus and drain myself accidentally, the director would caution me to straighten my posture.

If you say he's a prince, this high school student really doesn't feel like he's trying to be cool. He appears natural. But, in what way was I to express being cool? I thought a lot about that. But the director told me, "Doing it by thinking too much about it is not good." So, I'm trying not to think too deeply about it.

On the set, I'm mostly together with Shida Mirai-san. Till now, I haven't been much with the other co-actors. Lately I've started talking with Shida-san. We co-acted in "Tantei Gakuen Q", but it wasn't for a long time so we didn't talk much. When we had some free time, we'd just play a game together with everybody. Shida-san was really good at those games. She's younger than me, but she's got a good head over her shoulders. Frankly, she's quite the talker. Our talks are about things like work and school, familiar sort of conversations. We haven't played any games yet this time. We haven't got a hold of the set situation yet, so once we get used to it we might get into war again (laugh).

As for Yoko, will theirs become a delicate relationship? How will Riku be involved with Yoko from now on? Whether or not it will turn into a love relationship, please look forward to the drama to find that out (laugh). What will happen in the second half? Please hold expectations for it.

Are you being called "Prince" at school?
Inside of me the prince image would be someone that is cool (kakkoii) even though he doesn't try to be cool, and doesn't do anything. For example, oh right~, a person like Yamamoto Yusuke-kun [note: the dude that saw spirits in hanakimi]. Yusuke-kun is kind, has a sense of freshness, somehow gives off a feeling of coming out of a manga world. When we co-acted in "Himitsu no Hanazono" (Secret Flower Garden), I was so nervous we never really talked. In an earlier Junon issue, the "Ideal Lover chart", when I did that kind of guy, it was because I became Yusuke-kun (laugh). Hyde-san is extremely cool but he doesn't have the prince image, does he?

Am I called "Prince"? Sometimes it happens at school. Calling me "Prince" normally, as if it were my name. And then I just answer normally, "What?" (laugh). Still, I don't talk much to people except my close friends. If someone talks to me and we get along well, I'd chat away. If because of doing this drama viewers start calling me "Prince", I'd be happy (laugh).

Do I give off the impression that I don't sweat? Actually, I do quite a lot. I think I perspire about 1.5 times more than a normal person does. Metabolism is a good thing, right? Though I'm not happy about it. After PE I always open up 3 buttons and go, "ue~". Almost 20 minutes of the following class would be that kind of feeling.

I think I perspire more than everyone else. Even on my face. That's because I work a lot. Plus, Sendai is considerably cool, so I think it's also that I'm weak to heat. Doing athletics during summer is unpleasant ne. The school I go to has no yard, so we do PE inside the gym, and it gets extremely hot. But, if it's something I like to do, then I show my eagerness. Right now I'm doing badminton, I'm quite fired up about it (laugh).

The things I decide, I see them through till the end
To me, who is an ally of justice? At the moment of need, the one to help out is the school teacher ne. The homeroom teacher I have now has been taking care of me for 2 years. He's still a young male teacher, so he thinks about our future. Even when we're being a little naughty, he covers for us... We don't really do bad things, just that when students are guilty of something, there are teachers that blow it out of proportions, right? He's not like that, rather gets concerned and talks to us. He's a really good teacher (laugh). I'd like to go visit him once at his house, but I can't seem to get a hold of him. His private life is a bit of a mystery (laugh).

Inside me, there's also my righteousness. The things I've decided, the things I feel are right, I see them through till the end. I also make sure I maintain the time and promises I made with my friends. And, I do things I don't have any interest in halfheartedly (laugh). That side never changes ne.

Before getting the drama part I had private time for myself and I could take it easy. I wasn't in excellent physical shape. I'd caught a cold, had tummy aches, and felt sluggish. That kind of feeling went on for about 3 weeks. But, since I hate hospitals, I never went. Well, my natural healing capacity is also 1.5 times more than that of a normal person (laugh). That's how it dragged on. But I finally thought it was strange, so I went to the hospital. I was told I had gastroenteritis [1]. I've been properly cured, and am fully fine now.

I chat with my friends at the sobaya [2]
In my own way I have fun with my friends. Lately, we don't just go to a decided restaurant, rather we try to eat several different things. For now, we've only talked about conquering the entire train station building. Every day is a new discovery. At times we go to places like soba shops. Actually, it might be often. Even though we go to soba shops, I only eat udon [3]. I feel that one can't really understand the yumminess of soba until one is an adult, so I only order "cute" dishes. Is this the hit lately? hmmm... I can't really tell. I never held much interest in meals, so I can only remember things that were extraordinarily delicious. We're still high school students, so we can't afford high-priced shops. But, more than anything else, the time I spend relaxing and chatting with my friends like that is fun. My high school life will end soon ne. I made some really good friends, so I'll miss them once we part. At the soba shop, we sometimes say things like, "It's almost over, huh." Everyone's thinking about university. That maybe from now on we won't have much time to hang around.

Speaking of which, I'm attending cram school, as a countermeasure for short essay and interview. People going to cram school are already serious. They're all amazing. Using difficult words, constructing 5-kanji word formations (laugh). I think writing essays is my forte, too. But, it's not the same with speaking. Even yesterday I went for 4.5 hours. It's usually 3 hours, but I couldn't go last week, so I worked extra to make up for that.

On summer vacation picking cherries
Going to school and cram school while filming the drama might seem tough, but it's not really. I don't mind school taking up such a long time. The presence of my friends is enormous. None of them seems to aim to the university I'd like to go to, though. I'm not thinking of going to university because I want to study, but because I feel that if in the future I'm in a pinch, having graduated or not from university would make a difference. I of course would like to continue doing this job, but there's no telling what could happen. Reliable? That might be so.

During summer vacation I want to hang out with my friends as much as I can. I'm somewhat cutting back on sleep, but I want to use my time for fun stuff. There are many places I'd like to go to. But it's hard to have consecutive holidays, so I want to go to places I can go to on a day trip. Where would be a good place? It can be done even without planning it out too much. Oh, right! I want to go cherry picking! It's in season now. Though I don't like cherries particularly. Even if on set they are brought, I don't really eat them. But I'm interested in picking them (laugh).
'cause, picking them then eating them is good? Well you would eat them, wouldn't you. I've never had interest in picking fruits till now. I don't think I ever did it either. But, is picking uncool? Well, my opponents are cherries after all (laugh).
You'd go with different people by bus, right? Lunch would also be like a set, right? That's totally fine. I think it would be fun. So, if I have time, I'll go cherry picking with my friends... I wonder if everyone would come~ (laugh).


[1] gastroenteritis
AKA gastro, gastric flu, and stomach flu although unrelated to influenza. It is inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, involving both the stomach and the small intestine and resulting in acute diarrhea. Inflammation is caused most often by infection with certain viruses, less often by bacteria or their toxins, parasites, or adverse reaction to something in the diet or medication. [source: wikipedia]

[2] sobaya
Soba is a type of thin Japanese noodle made from buckwheat flour, served either chilled with a dipping sauce, or in hot broth as a noodle soup.
Sobaya is a restaurant that serves soba plates.

[3] udon
Is a type of thick wheat-based noodle, usually served hot as noodle soup in a mildly flavoured broth. It is usually topped with thinly chopped scallions.
Posted 9/20/08 , edited 9/20/08
Why is this on the Extended Discussion?
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Posted 10/9/08 , edited 10/9/08
i juz know that kanato hongo is damn cute..
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